Mushanga Co-operative Savings and Credit Society Limited celebrated its Golden jubilee anniversary in a ‘scientific’ 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held over the weekend.
According to its General Manager, Gorden Nankunda, the 50 years of existence were celebrated during the cooperative’s 38th AGM which was held at Mushanga Catholic Recreation Centre, Sheema district.
He says the cooperative has registered significant growth since its inception in 1969 and has visible assets to testify to that growth.
Currently Mushanga SACCO, located in Sheema District, has a total of 28,000 members, 87 staff and 11 branches in four districts of Ankole region.
It has total Savings of Shs 10bn, a loan portfolio of Shs 17.5bn and share capital worth Shs 4bn.
“In 50 years we have constructed our Head Office in Nyamifumura and our Kigarama branch, so we really had a reason to celebrate,” Nankunda said.
Nankunda called upon other people to join the SACCO and asked its members to continue saving diligently and taking loans regularly from it as one way of strengthening their cooperative.
“I encourage members to use their cooperative profitably; they should save and acquire loans so that they can gain from it,” he says
The surviving founding members called upon the current board and members to keep the candle burning at Mushanga co-operative savings and credit society Ltd.
At the same AGM, the SACCO’s founding General Secretary, Mzee Boniface Kiriwali narrated the history of the cooperative’s founding with the help of an Italian Catholic Priest then based at the parish in Mushanga.
He also revealed how the politics of DP and UPC affected their cooperative because they were considered to be DP supporters since the cooperative was affiliated to the Catholic Church.
Bob Barigye, the Commissioner of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade, who was the chief guest at the AGM, seemed to confirm this account when he revealed that political interference delayed the official registration of the cooperative until 1981.
Kiriwali is proud of having written a book about the history of Mushanga SACCO, to which the current management and board refer in order to understand where the cooperative has come from and where it is now.
“I love this SACCO for sure and I had the zeal for it to grow. I even used to keep the members money at my home and later carry it in my bag to the SACCO,” Kiriwali narrates.
Bafaki Gervase, the cooperative’s chairman said Mushanga SACCO was started to alleviate poverty from its members’ households.
“Since 1969, we promised to chase poverty and illiteracy among our members. As I speak, Mushanga SACCO has enough liquidity to satisfy all its members within a period of two days,” Gervase said.
Set up controls
Commissioner Barigye encouraged Mushanga SACCO’s management and board to strengthen internal controls in order to combat embezzlement of members’ money. He also proposed retaining external auditors for the SACCO as one of the internal controls.
All the cooperative’s founding board members were handed gifts and medals in recognition of their contributions towards Mushanga SACCO.
If a SACCO’s success is reflected in that of its members, Mushanga SACCO has acquitted itself quite well. Every member owns at least a banana plantation and cattle farm, and members testify to the spirit of togetherness that binds them close.
Members attribute the cooperative’s successful growth to the fact that members save faithfully with the SACCO on a daily or weekly basis.
The SACCO offers various loan packages, only accessible to members, including: Business-trade and commerce loan, Agricultural loan, School fees loan, Home improvement loan, Emergency loan, Bodaboda loan, Solar loan, Asset financing loan and Land title loans.
Mushanga SACCO is currently affiliated with Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), Uganda Cooperatives Alliance (UCA), Microfinance Support Centre Limited (MSCL), Uganda Central Co-operative Financial Services (UCCFS) and Ankole Private Sector Promotion Centre Ltd (APROCEL).
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